Why Sketching Builds Resilience

What do you remember doing as a child and not really appreciating at the time, and has this influenced you now?

Is Outcome Always A Priority? 

During half term 2015, my husband Paul was away with work in Syria, so as often happens in the holidays,  I drove the kids up North to visit their older and younger cousins and spend time with my lovely sister in law, Auntie Sally, two mums working together is always so much easier than one eh.

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On this occasion we met at one of our favourite bolt holes in the Lake District, the Independent Youth Hostel at Derwent Water.   We’ve always enjoyed Youth Hostelling for the flexibility, fun and affordability.

It was also a week to celebrate Nanny Gill turning 70.  She always brings a bag of sketch books, pencils and paints,  we find the last page that someone doodled and then create a new page. It’s a collection of memories from various adults and children and always so lovely and inspiring to look back through.

Luke and Ellie laugh at my unskilled often immature drawings, I used to not sketch perhaps over concerned with the appearance. However, when I decided it’s not about the outcome but the process and experience, it became more enjoyable and relaxing.

Ways To Build Resilience

Being present to the moment, taking notice and slowing down are all ways to build the foundations of resilience and sketching is a way to encourage this.

Even better though, are shared events,  connection and belonging. Sometimes our children don’t always want to take part in activities with us, especially when they hit teenage years – wow what a totally new set of parenting skills this involves!  However these adventures are seeds that get planted, and form important life bases, though often not appreciated at the time.

Look forward to seeing your sketches and reading more of your stories too.

Jane Tyson
Solving World Problems One Mum at A Time

PS, this week’s  Random Dialogues  homework is a sketching task! We have a Facebook group too incase you would like to join us either on and/or offline.



Family Adventure to Pompeii

What’s on your family wish list?
This week we enjoyed adventures in Naples.
Yesterday was a wonderful trip to Pompeii
Mind the bees.

Video here


Jane x

Family Adventures in Naples


Today we took a train to Ercolo then tourist bus up to Mount Vesuvius, enjoying great views of the city of Naples sprawling below, whilst slightly terrified of the narrow coach turns. The carpark with all the coaches was probably the most dangerous part though.

From here, we walked about 15 minutes on a reasonably wide path to the crater rim. It was pretty windy, Ellie’s ears ached from the cold and sand stung our eyes. It was definitely worth it though.

We survived the return journey to the station, and from here walked 15 minutes to Herculaneum. This Roman city was destroyed in AD79 by pyroclastic flows from the eruption of nearby Mount Vesuvius. Due to the deep ash, the preservation of the city is remarkable.

The video contains images of skeletons frozen in fear and pain. 300 were found at the site close to the seashore, previously it had been thought that the city had been evacuated.

On Monday, our visit to the National Archaeological Museum to see many of the city’s artefacts and excellent video reconstruction, was a great family experience too.



A Random Pic, 1979


When not involved in the engineering team for Martin Baker’s ejector seats,  my Grandad Alan designed this fruitpick. He subsequently made 5 more for the apple trees we used to have growing in the garden in Lyne.

My Dad was advised to advertise the picker nationally, so ran adverts in The Field magazine, Telegraph and  Countrylife, @£9.95 incl p&p

On the Monday 7 orders arrived, Tuesday 40 and by the Wednesday the postman delivered a huge sack of 700 orders and it didn’t stop. We spent the next year trying to get on top of them, enlisting the help of friends and family and working out of the green shed.

Kay and I were in charge of boxing and taping, we must have been 8 and 6 at the time.

The first year was the best, then the idea was copied and advertising, insurances, time etc became too high for it to be sustainable and profitable.

In the meantime, my dad continued to run his shop in Putney and a ‘humane animal trapping’ sideline/plan B mail order business from home which was quite ahead of its time too.

Jane Tyson

Nature Data Collection

Can you estimate the percentage of children in the UK who cannot identify an oak leaf? I have been carrying out little surveys in the classes I’ve been teaching.


Depending on the intensity of the planning left, it’s always an exciting adventure to have the opportunity to get the kids out of class into nature.

The other day I visited a wonderful wildlife garden in a school and the class hadn’t been outside once this term to visit it.
Another school has an entire woodland area, and again the kids hadn’t stepped on a single twig. One teacher had been requested to no longer take his kids there as it was eating into too much curriculum time.
This isn’t true of many lovely schools I visit, however there are many not appreciating the benefits of getting kids outdoors.
What’s the impact of this nature disconnection?
Each evening, I lay out my supply teaching clothes, CRB lanyard, and an oak leaf for my own data nature connection collection.
Will share my statistically unreliable findings soon 😉


Sticks and Stones Do Hurt Kids


As usual there was an intense amount of work left to cover and no time factored in to create connection.

People say, ‘Jane how do you know what to do, what’s it like walking into a class you have never met and teaching them, do they mess about?’

A handwritten 2 page letter was left on the desk informing me of the 12 most troublesome children including: ‘f has ADHD, x, y and z are trying to be the alpha males, s is sooo lazy really stamp on him, t is aggressive, l calls out all the time, s daydreams. ‘I’ want to know all the details, please leave as much feedback as possible’

The simple exchange of a smile, taking an interest in a book a pupil has on their desk, or noticing their pencilcase design, can make the difference between a successful or exhausting supply cover day.

Alongside the endless writing abd back to back lessons I weaved in 5 minutes of my ‘Community Circle’. A circle of connection, which positively transforms the energy in any classroom. Not just for schools.

In these circles we celebrate our uniqueness and wholeness, get present to eachothers’ stories and develop a flourishing community and culture.

Take care when casting words and spells as they can stick and hurt. U get my drift?

Jane 🕉️
Boosting Resilience. Resourcefulness and Real World Thinking
Play Alchemist

Sleep and the benefits of Bedtime Routines for children

Do your children have a bedtime ritual? 

Below is a gentle idea to soothe them before bedtime and ease them into sleep.

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A Simple Bedtime Idea

My brother in law responded to my newsletter, ‘Simple Ways To Enhance Children’s Sleep by sending over a beautiful message about his evening wind down routine. This included lighting a candle before he snuggles under his soft covers. I shared his story with my daughter.
After she’s cleaned her teeth, my daughter lights our little buddha statue, and then settles back for a short and calming foot massage. When she was little she would enjoy calming yoga poses too.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Yesterday, my husband returned from Indonesia with stories of the recent dreadful earthquake, which we didn’t share at bedtime.

Sleep tight.


In a world of constant distraction and stimulation teaching your children the magic of silence©